Kevin Durant picked up where he left off and picked apart Slovenia (1-1) with an array of jumpers, dunks and leaners, finishing with a game-high 22 points along with four rebounds, four assists and four steals. Rudy Gay chipped in 16 points off the bench and Russell Westbrook and Andre Igoudala each added 11.
The U.S. shot 57.1 percent from the floor while holding Slovenia to just 37.5 percent shooting. The biggest contrast of all came on the boards. Despite Slovenia trotting out a bigger starting line-up on Sunday, the U.S. out rebounded their European foes, 51-24. Kevin Love, in another brilliant performance off the bench, snagged a game-high 11 rebounds to go along with 10 points in limited action.
Slovenia star Goran Dragic struggled most of the game, finishing with seven points and three turnovers. Bostjan Nachbar led the way with 11 points and Primoz Brezec added seven.
The U.S. will play its third pool play game in as many days when they face Brazil (1-0) on Monday (2:30 p.m. EST), a team led by Leandro Barbosa and Tiago Splitter. Before that Group B showdown, Brazil takes on Tunisia later this afternoon.
With one second left in the quarter, Rudy Gay pulls down a huge offensive rebound in traffic and uses his strength to finish at the rim and draw the foul.He makes the FT to push the U.S.'s lead back to 21.
The U.S. out rebounded Slovenia 24-9 in the first half, but failed to capitalize on the extra possessions due to turnovers. An unofficial box score says the U.S. turned the ball over 12 times in the first quarter, almost twice as many turnovers as they had all game against Croatia on Saturday.
Slovenia, meanwhile, has to be disappointed with the output they're getting from their NBA trio. Dragic (0 points, 3 fouls), Nachbar (four points on 2-of-6 shooting) and Brezec (seven points) have been lackluster at best.
Welcome back to SI.com's live blog as we watch Team USA take on Slovenia this morning in the second game of pool play at the FIBA Worlds.
Both the U.S. and Slovenia notched victories in their first games of the tournament Saturday, with the U.S. registering a 106-78 win over Croatia and Slovenia coasting to an 80-56 victory over Tunisia.
Although both teams weren't tested much yesterday, Game 2 should provide more of a competitive balance. Slovenia has three players with significant NBA experience in Goran Dragic, Primoz Brezec and Bostjan Nachbar. The trio combined for 39 points, 13 rebounds and 12 assists in its 24-point victory against Tunisia.
Meanwhile, the U.S. had five players finish in double-digits against Croatia, with supersub Eric Gordon leading the way with 16 points off the bench and Kevin Durant adding 14 points and eight rebounds. One of the U.S.'s most impressive, yet unheralded, performances came from Kevin Love, who finished with seven points and 10 rebounds in only 13 minutes of play, showing just how deep Mike Krzyzewski's bench really is.
Look for the U.S. to start a line-up of Lamar Odom, Kevin Durant, Andre Igoudala, Derrick Rose and Chauncey Billups once again. Like they did against Croatia, the U.S. will try to utilize its swarming defense and superior athleticism early and often against Slovenia.